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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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U.s. 15, California 11, Us 10, Taliban 6, Andrea Mitchell 6, Kerry 5, John Kerry 4, Washington 4, Michael Bloomberg 3, Hamid Karzai 3, United States 3, Karzai 3, Karl Rove 3, Ryan 3, Phillips 3, Jonathan 3, Richard Blumenthal 2, Pete Williams 2, Christopher Hill 2, Ruth Marcus 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    March 25, 2013
    10:00 - 11:00am PDT  

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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," face to face. secretary of state john kerry makes an unannounced stop in kabul. saying the u.s. and afghanistan are on the same page on peace talks with the taliban. that visit comes after recent tensions between president hamid karzai and u.s. officials. fresh off his middle east trip, president obama turns his focus to immigration. hosting a naturalization ceremony for active duty members of the military today at the white house. >> after avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all. the time has come for comprehensive sensible immigration reform. up in arms. the nra blasts mayor michael bloomberg's plan to pressure senators in key states ahead of next month's gun control vote. >> 90% of the public wants something and their representatives vote against that. common sense says they are going to have a price to pay for that. >> he can't spend enough of his
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$27 billion to try to impose his will on the american public, they don't want him in their restaurants, they don't want him in their homes, they don't want him telling them what food to eat. they sure don't want him telling them what self-defense firearms to own. he can't buy america. at the supreme court, dozens brave the cold and snow for their chance to witness this week's historic back-to-back cases on same-sex marriage. and the cinder-fellas do it again. the florida gulf coast eagles becomes the first number 15 seed to reach the sweet 16. good day, i'm chris sli cillizza, live in washington. andrea mitchell is traveling with secretary kerry today, andrea, what's the latest there? i know you were in the press conference with president karzai and secretary of state certificaty. you had a chance to question
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both of them. and i know they discussed the comments, president karzai made about possible collusion between the united states and the taliban. what can you tell us? >> the press conference went very well. it started late because they had so many things to discuss. they did talk about this in private. according to secretary kerry. president karzai tried to say he was misinterpreted. and apparently they're going to let bygones be bygones, he is aware he infuriated the u.s. by somehow suggesting that the u.s. was colluding with the taliban. at the same time, secretary kerry went to great lengths to show that they have patched things over. a show of unity. praising, effusively praising karzai for steps that he's taking. trying to encourage him, saying it was his legacy, his historic
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role to have real elections and turn power over at the end of his term. the other issues, tough issues involved one resolution today, which was the turnover of the bagram from american control to afghan control, a big sticking point with president karzai. i asked both of them about the fact that there are high-value detainees, very dangerous prisoners, that the u.s. considers very dangerous, now turned over to afghan control, did the u.s. have veto power over afghan release of these prisoners? kerry said he was confident that they would have consultations. and that they would not be release of these kinds of prisoners, karzai made it clear that this is matter of afghan sovereignty. he said the u.s. is going to share intelligence, that the military had worked out sharing of information, and that they would be consulting, but obviously there's no american veto any more over whether or not these high-value prisoners,
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suspected taliban figures will be released. there's a lot of talk about the taliban. mutual agreement that it is a good step for karzai to go to doha, qatar and help with the opening of a taliban office for the beginning of peace talks. he said there are already talks going on with the taliban. they have many contacts. and kerry said my message to the taliban is -- that the u.s., the president of the united states has made a commitment to afghanistan to stay engaged after 2014. and you the taliban can either be inside, working, renouncing violence and working to renew afghanistan or outside. chris? >> andrea, i just want to follow up, i think you have such a unique perspective, having been in that room. it seemed as though certainly rhetorically, both men were doing their best to present a united front, as you say. what was the body language? what are the things we can't pick up necessarily just watching it on television. what was your take on that piece
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of it? is this genuine? or is this sort of diplomacy having to do this sort of thing after what karzai had to say earlier this month? >> well, chris, it's a really interesting question. it is diplomacy to try to, sort of smooth over what was obviously a really upsetting and infuriating comment by president karzai. the administration knows not only was the white house serious, but they know that congress was furious, threatening to cut off aid. so they needed to patch this over as best they can. they know they're dealing with a rather erratic figure. but a figure who is uniquely positioned to do something important for the future of afghanistan. and remember, it was kerry who came here as the chairman of the foreign relations committee at the president's behest, to talk karzai back a number of years ago in 2009, into holding another election after the first election round was considered fraudulent. so in fact i walked in the palace past this beautifully laid out ancient garden, and
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that's the garden where kerry walked karzai around and around and around the garden until he persuaded him, that it was in his interests to do something about it and not to let that fraudulent election result stand. it's a pretty good relationship, it is kerry that has had the relationship in the past with karzai. has been the mediator or the int interlockutor. the best person to get karzai on the same page. >> there seems to be a rhetorical contrast between what we saw with secretary of state kerry and hamid karzai today and the tough words that the secretary of state had for the iraqi president regarding syria and iran. can you just -- contrast those two for me? >> very, very different. because even though karzai has been an uncertain partner, he is an essential partner now with
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60,000-plus american forces and 100,000 international isaf forces here on the ground. he is critical to the withdrawal of u.s. troops and the future political transition. to afghanistan, to a different kind of afghanistan. >> al maliki, the fact that he is colluding, consorting with iran and rearming assad undercuts all of the international efforts to get assad out of there. so by propping up assad in a hot war, if you will, in a civil war where 70,000-plus people have already died, al maliki has become more of a problem than a solution. >> andrea mitchell as always, going to where the news is. thank you for the perspective from the room. much appreciated. >> christopher hill is the former u.s. ambassador to iraq and the dean of the corbell school of international studies
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at denver university and joins us to talk more about the situation. now ambassador hill, i want to to talk about andrea used the phrase "an erratic figure" to describe president karzai, particularly after his comments of the alleged u.s. collusion with the taliban that he is now saying was a misunderstanding. can we trust karzai after the behavior he has exhibited over the last three and a half weeks? >> i think we know karzai pretty well we've dealt with him for a long time. and i think secretary kerry in particular has a kind of personal relationship with him. i think with respect to public statements from our perspective, karzai is going to be erratic and continue to be erratic. much of what he says really is designed for domestic afghan audiences. and i must say from the point of view of our audiences, from the point of view of the u.s., it's often very tough to take. but i don't see that changing. i mean it's gone on for quite some time. >> and ambassador, just to further on that point, it would
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seem that this is some of what karzai says here is simply about hamid carsi's politics in afghanistan and not meant in the diplomatic context, for which many of us are taking it. am i reading you right? >> that's right. but obviously it's hard to segment audiences these days. so we hear the same thing they hear. but we take it kind of differently. >> now i have a question, andrea mentioned the prisons, the u.s. has ceded possession of the last prison facility. given the bifurcated nature of what president karzai says, can we trust afghanistan to not release some of the most dangerous prisoners in the prisons that we've ceded over. >> we went through the same type of deal with the iraqis. they release prisoners for different reasons than we release principlers. this is a tough one. and i suspect we're going to
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have a lot of disappointments ahead. these things happen all the time. >> one last thing, personal relationships, much has been made of john kerry's relationship with hamid karzai, that preceded him being named secretary of state. how much do we as, as an amateur in diplomacy, do we under, over or rightly rate the importance of personal relationships kerry karzai, others, in being able to sort of move the debate in ways that we believe it is beneficiarial for our country to do so? >> i think it's on the whole, underappreciated. the fact that you can get someone to do something that person wouldn't otherwise want to do, because that person wants to keep the relationship with you, is important. and i think too often, especially in the public discussion in the united states, about these diplomatic relations, you know, if we listen to what people in the u.s. always said, it's usually
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wagging a finger at someone, and publicly humiliating the person. just as in one's private life or business life, that often doesn't work. so i think it is much preferable to try to get close and therefore get influential. and i think john kerry has it right in this regard. >> ambassador christopher hill. with a good reminder, in your personal life, in politics and diplomacy, relationships always matter. thank you for reminding us. >> thank you. up next in our daily fix, it's a big week for same-sex marriage at the supreme court. plus mayor michael bloomberg takes his gun fight to the swing states. this is "andrea mitchell reports." zap technology. departure. hertz gold plus rewards also offers ereturn-- our fastest way to return your car. just note your mileage and zap ! you're outta there ! we'll e-mail your receipt in a flash, too. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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karl rove, can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying
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flat-out, i am for gay marriage. >> i could. >> well, karl rove says it's possible, but the majority of republican lawmakers don't seem eager to throw their support behind same-sex marriage, at least not yet. joining me now for the daily fix, "washington post" editorial columnist ruth marcus and politico senior reporter jonathan martin, j-mart to all of us who know him. >> how about those hoyas? >> let's not start on the hoyas, thank you, jonathan. >> did somebody rev up jonathan today? >> yes, he starts out like that. jonathan, let's talk about same-sex marriage. i want to talk about the issue it creates for the republican party. which is, you have some people saying look, karl rove. saying our party may move towards this by 2016. there's plenty of people, aka the base of the party who don't think they should ever move that direction. does it divide the party? and where do they wind up? >> i can imagine there's a republican rand paul that would
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be for gay marriage before 2016, but not many mainstream republicans coming out. i think we're still a few years away from that. it's demographic. a lot of old folks in the republican party that comprise the worker bee base of the gop,thy do the phone calls, they do the envelopes. they are culturally very conservative. very traditional and they're not going to come around to gay marriage at least not in the very near future it may happen down the road, i think you're going to find serious puckbash among the conservative base of the party. who by the way provide a lot of votes to republicans. on this issue. keep in mind, a lot of republicans vote for the party because of the cultural issues, not the fiscal issues. it's not because of carried interest and capital gains tax breaks they vote for the gop. >> carried interest. >> now we get to talk about carried interest. >> jonathan makes a good point. nbc/"wall street journal" poll,
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i believe in december 2012, they asked do you support same-sex marriage, do you favor or oppose it. 69% of democrats yes, sir, 46% of republicans, 27% of republicans. so it is, there's no question, there's no question sort of where the trend line is broadly heading on this issue. but 63% of republicans still oppose. go ahead. >> yes, but i've got another number for you. >> i asked the "post"/abc poll people in their latest poll to break out the republican numbers for me. more than half of republicans ages 18-29 in favor of same-sex marriage. and that tells you something, up to age 49. >> i'll one-up you, 18-49, which is remarkable. to jonathan's point, the worker bees of the party, it's a fair point. we'll talk about guns, the other big issue. the bill that's going to go through the senate has been
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stripped of the assault weapons ban. the bill has been stripped of the high-capacity magazine ban. all of the eggs are now in the background checks basket. smart? dumb? strategy? >> smart, but people aren't focused on the right things, there's been a lot of hand-wringing among those of us, i put myself in this camp, who would like to see serious gun control legislation passed. a lot of hand-wringing about losing the assault weapons ban. that is a, not a surprise. b, not the most important piece of the bill. the most important piece of the bill, the thing that could have the biggest impact, guess what, you should worry about the background checks, because the way they're constituted now in the senate bill, they are not going to get past the motion to proceed. big fight over record-keeping rirt and we could end up if people don't sort of start to
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count votes and realize that the perfect can't be the enemy and the adequate can't be the enemy of significant achievement, you could end up not having background check legislation, that would be a very big loss. >> that's an important point, people understand background checks will go through. tom coburn, the republican senator from oklahoma part of the negotiation said we're not there yet. jonathan, i want to ask you, on the political front of this. michael bloomberg, who has billions, and is spending millions, on a 13-state strategy, april recess running a bunch of ads in places like arkansas, louisiana, north carolina, many of them held by democratic senators, trying to pressure these folks to ruth's point to get on board with background checks. does this move the needle? >> does it move the needle given that it's bloomberg, does that have an impact? >> i think it could get the attention of the senators, going back home for recess and they'll see those ads. the big point, chris, is one
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that you made last week in a smart piece. and that is newtown didn't change the gun debate. they need to come to terms with the fact that a few days after newtown, there were questions about whether or not this realigned the consensus on the gun issue. there were senators looking around trying to figure out if the politics had changed, and some of the comments in the days after reflected that. it turns out it didn't change that consensus all that much. we're talking about a piecemeal approach here. and ruth is right, most cultural legislation in the history of the country has not come in one fell swoop. it's come a small bit at a time. >> civil rights. >> sure. certainly entitlements come to mind as well. the fact is, there is a period a few days after new town. where the idea of bringing back the ban on assault weapons would not have seen totally crazy. three or four months later, it's pretty clear that it's not going to happen now and the politics
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have not changed. time passes on, people move on, and we in the media cover other things and we're back to where we were prenewtown in a lot of ways. >> i think things have changed in this separates, it's safe to talk about guns, the president could mention guns in the state of the union. if everybody plays their cards correctly, we could see an expanded background checks, that would be a big thing. things have changed. >> it's incremental change, ruth. >> in two weeks we'll find out, we'll have the debate. ruth marcus, jonathan martin, thank you. up next, senator richard blumenthal on the future of the gun control legislation in the senate. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports." a febreze experiment. to prove febreze can keep this car fresh, we loaded it with fast food, sweaty hockey gear, and a smelly dog cage. and parked it at a mall. in texas. for two days. then put a febreze car vent clip on the dash
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stand up to this guy. that says we can only have three bullets, which is what he said. stand up to this guy, if he says ridiculous things like the nra wants firearms with nukes on them. it's insane. >> that's nra president, wayne lapierre appearing on nbc's meet the pres this past sunday with some sharp criticism for michael bloomberg's $12 million advertising blitz aimed to pressure vulnerable democrats and republican senators to vote for background checks when it comes up for a vote next month. joining me is senator richard blumenthal. let's talk first, can you give me a state of play, we kind of know the elements of the bill, that will be debated. can you give me a state of plan where you think things stand? >> where things stand is that the majority leader, harry reid, has commendably said we will have a vote, a ban on illegal
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trafficking and straw purchasing, very significant. a requirement for background checks on all purchases of firearms, including private sales. and a school safety measure. all of them approved by the judiciary committee where i serve and there will be at least two amendments, maybe more, one offered by senator feinstein that will oppose the assault weapon ban and a prohibition on high-capacity magazines, ten bullets or more. >> will those two amendments pass? do they have any chance at passage in your estimation? >> there will be a second amendment that will prohibit high-capacity magazines, separate from the first. in other words splitting out that measure, which i am helping spearhead. now i think there will be significant gun safety legislation. and that the votes are there for some of the elements now and we're working very hard to reach out to some of the swing votes.
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at this point what's really needed is to mobilize the silent majority. if you look at the polls, the majority of the american people favor these measures, it's 80%, 90%, depending on the measure. but one way or the other, there's a majority. but it's been silent. and the silent majority needs to be a lot more vocal. >> senator, i want to ask you about what you've done if anything. many of your colleagues, democrats, not just republicans, many democrats, people like max baucus of montana, kay hagen in north carolina, mary landrieu in louisiana, mark pryor in arkansas, all of these people are, mark begich in alaska, all of these people are up for re-election in 2014. >> have you talked to any or all of those folks about why their vote is needed? to be frank, you will need a pretty close to unanimous group
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of democrats voting for these measures, correct? >> i've talked to a lot of them and they're going to be listening to their constituents, they're listening to their colleagues like myself who favor these common sense, common-ground measures. but they're going to be listening to their constituents and my hope is that that silent majority of people who have felt for some time, and now the feeling is crystallized and galvanized by newtown that we need common sense measures, including background checks, illegal trafficking bans, and others that will help stop newtown's, which was a call to action. >> senator, let me ask you, if you get broadened background checks, straw purchases, those kinds of things, but not the assault weapons ban and not the ban on high-capacity clips or magazines, is that a victory for gun control advocates? and should it be seen that way
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or not? >> let me tell you very sincerely, i am not abandoning the effort on a ban on assault weapons. and on high-capacity magazines. there is a good likelihood that some, maybe all of those beautiful 20 children and six brave heroic educators could be alive today. might well be alive today, some of them at least, if there had been this kind of ban in effect. so the background checks, straw purchases, illegal traffic, school safety, mental health initiatives, they're important, part of a comprehensive strategy. there's no single solution. and by the way, no state can do it alone, because state boundaries have no respect for illegal trafficking of guns. >> senator blumenthal of connecticut, thank you. thank you. up next, the supreme court showdown over same-sex marriage,
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is there a 50-state solution. but first, a little royals news, prince harry is heading back to the u.s. harry will make a trip across the pond this may to attend several charity events for veterans, including 2013 warrior games, he recently spent 20 weeks serving in afghanistan. hungry for the best? it's eb. want to give your family the very best in taste, freshness, and nutrition? it's eb. want to give them more vitamins, omega 3s,
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my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. the supreme court will hear two landmark cases on same-sex marriage this week. challenges to california's prop 8 and the federal defense of marriage act. almost 60 people are now camped outside the supreme court bundled up under tents and umbrellas, many have been waiting since thursday to witness this piece of history. nbc's justice correspondent, pete williams joins me now. hi, pete. >> hey, chris. >> let's talk about, i think for a lot of people they've just started to focus on this, let's set the stakes here. there's a wide range of
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potential rulings. take us through a little bit of that. >> the fundamental questions in both cases this is clearly discrimination, to say we're not going to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples or we're not going to let the states do them. is it constitutional? now the advocates of prop 8 for example in california, this is the voter initiative passed with 52% of the vote in 2008. the same state that gave barack obama a majority passed this. they say yes it is constitutional. we need to make a distinction between marriage between traditional couples, because those produce children and it's important to make the distinction for that reason only. the opponents of prop 8 who have prevailed in both the lower courts say, allowing same-sex couples to get married doesn't do anything to traditional couples, it doesn't weaken marriage, it doesn't affect their marriage at all. it's more inclusive and there's no good reason not to do it. slightly different arguments on wednesday in the defense of marriage case, the federal law passed 17 years ago that says
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the federal government won't recognize any same-sex marriages even in the states where it's legal. the federal government says it has to have its own definition of marriage. the opponents say that doesn't make any sense constitutionally, either. >> prop 8, about the right to get married. d.o.m.a. about federal benefits when married. >> exactly. >> interrelated, but not the same issue. >> yes, because even if the supreme court says that prop 8 is struck down, that doesn't require any state to permit same-sex marriage. it will still be up to the states one way or the other. the only question in the doma case is whether the federal government will extend about 1,000 benefits, just like it would to opposite-sex couples, to gay couple who is get married. >> busy week, thank you. the issue of same-sex marriage is among the most contentious facing the country. with both sides claiming they have moral and legal grounds to make their respective arguments. how the debate comes out could reshape how the country defines
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marriage for generations to come. >> every time the supreme court makes a constitutional decision, it's making a decision that certain fundamental rights are too important to be left to the ballot box. we've done that with race, we've done that with women, we've done that with every discriminated class. >> it's difficult for americans and our public policy and our culture to emphasize the fact that mothers and fathers are necessary when the law says they're optional. >> joining me to talk about it, ryan anderson with the heritage foundation. thanks for taking the time. >> i want to run through a little bit of the politics and then let's get into the legal piece of it, too. i do find it amazing. this is nbc "wall street journal" data. in 200430% of americans favored same marriage, today the number is 51%. opposition has dropped from 62% to 40%. again, i am no pollster. but what that data suggests to me is there's a very clear movement in this country toward
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acceptance of same-sex marriage. how does that or should that play into what is going to happen at the supreme court tomorrow and on wednesday? >> the important thing before the supreme court isn't whether or not they agree with the public opinion polls, it's whether or not citizens have constitutional authority to pass laws defining marriage both at the state level and at the federal level. and in our constitutional history and tradition, marriage can be defined constitutionally as a union of a man and a woman. so the supreme court should allow this conversation to continue. if marriage is to be redefined, it should happen through citizens and their elected officials, not by unelected judges and the polls suggest we're having a great national discussion about what marriage is and why it matters. it would be a travesty if the supreme court cut that off short and forced on us a one-size fits all new definition. >> and ryan, what do you make of the argument, because this is something that we're going to hear from the other side of it. what do you make of the argument
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that this is a fundamental right, that that this is not best left up to the states this is a fundamental right that should be affirmed by the highest court in the land. and yes it's all well and good to have the votes in individual states. but this is sort of in-kind different. than simply allowing that to happen. >> it's a really bad legal argument. every time the supreme court has said there's a fundamental right to marriage, it's defined marriage as the union of a man and woman providing a child with a mother and a father. so when the court says there's a fundamental right to marry, what it says is that the state can't prevent people from forming a real marriage. being a man/woman relationship. this has happened in the past when we had laws that prevented interracial marriage. what the court said that race, skin color is irrelevant to what marriage is. but gender goes to the heart of what marriage is. marriage is about bringing together the two halves of humanity. it's about bringing together a man and woman as husband and wife to be mother and father so while marriage has to be
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color-blind it can't be gender-blind. that's why the fundamental right to marriage is the fundamental right of a man and woman to join together as husband and wife. but that's not the same thing for a same-sex relationship. you can be for it or against it, but it's not a marriage. >> ryan anderson of heritage foundation, thank you for taking the time. >> sure thing. >> my colleague "washington post" editorial writer and msnbc contributor, jonathan capehart. i know you were listening there. i wrote something ryan said down, because i wanted to get your perspective. he said while marriage has to be color blind, it can't be gender-blind. >> look and he also said that marriage is between a man and a woman are quote-unquote real marriages. the people who brought the case, brought the cases that are going to the supreme court, edith windsor, who is legally married. the folks in california who were married before proposition 8 was passed and those folks in california who are eager to get married, they want to get
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married because they are in love with each other. they are committed to each other. and they want the rights and responsibilities that go with marriage. and they also want the dignity and respect that comes with marriage. so you know, as much as, as much as ryan wants to downplay or belittle the marriages of same-sex couples, those same-sex couples are no different than opposite-sex couples, out there who want to gets married. >> jonathan, let me ask you one or thing quickly. some people who say the court should stay out of this, they point to the public opinion data. they say look, the trend line is clear, people are becoming more and more supportive of gay marriage. why do we need the court here, if these things go on the ballot. we saw in three states, including maryland, same-sex marriage approved by ballot initiative this past november. why do we need the court to step in? your answer? >> that's a good question. i wrote about this today, that should be a bit of a caution for folks looking for the court to make some sweeping ruling.
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but the problem though waiting for the political process, to work its way out is that we're talking about more than 31, 31 states that have state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage that will take years, if not decades to unwind all of those things. look, the supreme court gets involved in big, national cases, where there's a question that's involved that needs to be answered. and on this question, the right to marry, i think whatever the supreme court, whatever the supreme court rules, as pete williams reported, even if the supreme court says the prop 8 is unconstitutional and marriages get under way in california, marriage equality will be legal in california and there's only a matter of time before it becomes, before other states follow, follow suit and maybe the court has to get involved again to make a more sweeping ruling. the last point i want to leave here is -- the rights of a minority should not be put up for vote by the people. it just shouldn't. >> i want to ask you one other
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thing, i know you followed this debate throughout. and the question i have for you is, do we, do you expect, i know look, handicapping the supreme court is probably the most difficult thing you can possibly do. do you expect one way or the other, we will get a clear ruling? not to say where they'll decide. but there are a numb of legal pieces of this that would allow them to take a step back. does agreeing to take the cases mean, do we expect that it means that we're going to get some clarity on where we believe the court stands on these issues? >> i believe we will get, maybe not clarity, but maybe an idea of where the court is, as i said before, on the court would have to do in terms of prop 8 is say -- prop 8 is unconstitutional. and therefore, it's struck down and replies only to california. it's not a sweeping ruling. and that then allows us couples in california to get married. but then the other shoe that will drop will be couples in other states that will then, you
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know maybe go to california, gets married, go back to their home states where marriage equality isn't legal. file suit. in those cases bubble up to the supreme court that might possibly elou them to make a more sweeping ruling. i called that in an earlier piece. i called that the supreme court punting on the issue. buying themselves some time to -- >> buying themselves some time for down the road. >> jonathan capehart, thank you for the time. deal or no deal -- where is the senate on immigration reform? the strategy session is next. on "andrea mitchell reports."
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campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. that's what happy kids are made of. they're coming. yeah. british. later. sorry. ok...four words... scarecrow in the wind... a baboon... monkey? hot stew saturday!? ronny: hey jimmy, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? jimmy: happier than paul revere with a cell phone. ronny: why not? anncr: get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. senate may be on spring break, that doesn't mean their work on the immigration debate has slowed. this week, democratic senator chuck schumer will head west, making a visit to the border with john mccain as they continue working towards a deal on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. joining me to talk about it, ben lee bolt, press secretary for
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president obama's 2012 campaign and republican strategist, john fury, president of quinn gillespie communications. you guys are veteran watchers of washington. there's the whiff of possible bipartisan compromise here. john, tell me, it seems it's in republicans' political interests at least to find a way toward a deal. do you expect some sort of big immigration bill to come out? and does it include a path to citizenship? >> it has to be big enough to have enough momentum to get through the house and so the house -- >> very good point. >> so the house doesn't kill it. i think it's in the best political interests of the party to get a comprehensive immigration bill. to either legalization or citizenship. i don't know how that's going to work out. the problem is the republican base is still very concerned about it. last time that mccain went to arizona, he went to town hall meeting and got all kinds of gri. >> absolutely. >> i wasn't sure he did it on
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purpose to see how much grief he would get? >> it's like same-sex marriage, the base of the party, 25% of people support gay marriage in the nbc/"wall street journal" poll. >> organizing for action, we think the final iteration of the campaign, are asking undocumented immigrants to share their stories in reaching out to donors, trying to sort of use the organizing potential. how much influence does that have? i don't want to make too many comparisons, tomorrow facile comparisons to same-sex marriage. but in a way it's all politics is local. how can you use what you guys clearly did well in the campaign, to work on this issue? >> well, here's the deal. just because the american people voted for an issue on election day doesn't mean it will collect enough votes to pass congress. so that's what organizing for action is engaged in on the immigration front. on the gun front. you saw what got senator portman to change his position on the issue of gay marriage. it was that personal story and so now organizing for action has
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collected 7,000 stories from people who have come into this country undocumented. they're inspiring stories, they're compelling stories, you share them on social media. people are meeting across the country. more than a million people have participated through organizing for action. and members of congress have got to realize that this is in their political interest. demographics is destiny. >> that will always motivate them. >> there's one other part of the story. 200,000 children are in 200,000 children are in foster care because their parents were put on detention centers. i think this is the kind of story if democrats want to win on this, those are the stories. >> you have to put a human face on it. >> i'm fascinated and i'm not the only one. i'm fascinated by rand paul and what he's been doing including on immigration. he came out and he, a conservative guy on most things. he said i think there should be a path to legalization. does rand paul, he hasn't been
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in the senate too long. since 2010. does he have a coalition of people who, if he says, look, we're going to get behind this. i want to us get behind this. can he move votes? >> i think he can. i think he is a fascinating figure. he is not your traditional republican. he has his father being a libertarian but he is not his father. he is someone willing to take courageous stabs. for instance, the war on drugs. he is an iconoclast. >> a lot of fans say let them nominate rand paul. we on win in a walk. i think his appeal is, it is unorthodox. there are parts of the republican party he might lose but there are other parts of democrats and independents he might gain. are democrats under estimating rand paul or not, in your estimation? >> i think rand paul will find a significant following during the
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iowa caucuses. when you have something that's built around party activists and some young people who are anti-war, anti-drug war. you may see some crossover appeal there. i don't think the republican party's issue -- >> they're too close to the center. they've gotten dragged too far to the right. >> very important. he is anti-war. if republicans want to get some credibility back, that's important. >> and foreign policy is a fascinating place for republicans. we've talked about the policy. there's a lot of room to grow and change. >> and a lot of disagreement. >> thank you. >> and we will be right back. [ male announcer ] from the way the bristles move to the way they clean,
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remember to make sure and follow andrea's travels with secretary john kerry. you can follow her on twitter @mitchellreports. my colleague tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." on the next hour on the eve of the supreme court hearing, protests in california, head of the historic arguments on same
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sex marriage. people have been lined up outside the courts since thursday, even in the snow to be inside. we'll preview the arguments of california's prop 8 and the defense of marriage act including the possible decisions that could come down. plus, is there money motivation for some lawmakers to support same sex marriage? we'll look at a pretty interesting article. republicans could be opening to major cash from gop donors. and is mark zuckerberg following in the footstep of new york city mayor michael bloomberg? the facebook ceo willing to pulls up millions behind facebook reform. will it make a difference? ♪ i am stuck on band-aid brand ♪
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